Now that technology is progressing faster than ever before, the concept of losing one’s job to automation has been a growing concern for many.
Experts from industries across the board say this shift will entirely take place in the next five to 10 years. Meanwhile, Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures, predicts that about 50% of jobs will be taken over by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation within the next 15 years.
Senior-level tech executives who make up the Forbes Technology Council supplement this idea, predicting 13 jobs that will be automated come 2030. Their post includes insurance underwriting, warehouse and manufacturing jobs, and customer service, to name a few.
With multiple studies and theories on this foreseen change continuously emerging, a PwC survey reports that 37% of people in the workforce worry about getting laid off in their careers. And marketers are no exception to this.
How Have AI and Automation Progressed in the Marketing Industry?
From the widespread use of the internet in the 2000s to the rise of machine learning today, the marketing industry sure has seen its fair share of changes over the years.
Then and now, marketers have adjusted to the demands of the public and trends on the field, eventually incorporating technologies in their operations to get the job done as seamlessly as possible.
With a wide range of innovative applications on the rise in the market, various types of marketing campaigns are now made attainable in just a few clicks. These advancements allow for an easy launch and access to almost every channel in the digital sphere.
Making the most out of the industry’s latest automated technologies, marketers can leverage them to:
- Gather and analyze data to make business decisions
- Identify their audiences and understand them better
- Personalize communication with customers
- Conduct more in-depth research
- Streamline content production
In a recent marketing AI report, 52% of organizations and marketers recognize AI as essential to the success of their marketing efforts, with 41% of the respondents even achieving revenue acceleration because of it. While you might think these numbers are high, there are good reasons why.
Sales and marketing teams utilize AI for , saving them a significant amount of time for more precise targeting efforts. Various aspects of the sales processes can also be measured and assessed via automated technologies specially programmed to collect and interpret data.
What Marketing Jobs are at Stake?
According to a McKinsey Global Institute study, robot automation will displace 800 million jobs in 2030, affecting up to one-fifth of the global workforce. Meanwhile, one-third of the working class in wealthier nations like Germany and the US may need to retain them for other roles.
While experts believe that positions in service, warehouse, and retail are the most at risk of getting replaced by machines and algorithms, the marketing field is bound to get a taste of this shift as well.
With the rampant advancement and availability of technologies specifically designed for the industry, many brands have incorporated these add-ons into their operations for a streamlined workflow. As such, here are some tasks that marketing automation can work on:
1. Content generation
While an algorithm to completely clear the need for writers and strategists is yet to be written, several marketing solutions available in the market can replace many content creation and curation duties traditionally performed by people.
Articoolo, Word AI, and Wordsmith are some of the on-demand automation programs today. As for generating more optimized content for search engines, SEMRush and its list of marketing tools are a go-to for most practitioners.
2. Email marketing
In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible to find a digital marketer that hasn’t tried an automated email program yet. Now, more than ever, AI is used to manage large-scale email campaigns.
Tools specific for this marketing job have access to the data collected from contacts, enabling each message to be personalized depending on the recipient’s progress in the buyer’s journey. This customized effort helps put potential customers or recurring ones in the right direction to doing business with your brand. Among the widely used software for this task include HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, and Mailchimp.
3. Automated advertisement
Go ahead and do a quick scroll through your Facebook or LinkedIn feed. Chances are, you’ll spot an ad or two that will make you want to click. Such a curated browsing experience is the work of marketing automation.
While more companies rely on AI power for data collection, analytics, and targeting, it still takes a group of marketers to formulate and execute the perfect campaign for a business. However, utilizing audience management software such as Adext can help identify the best channel and optimize Facebook and LinkedIn ads based on the user easily.
4. SEM and PPC
In the last few years, (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) automation tools have continued to emerge in the market.
Although these systems are yet to become fully automated, marketers can tap into their wide range of features to track the performance of their online marketing efforts, allowing for real-time adjustments to optimize their campaigns better.
Automation Destroys Jobs but Also Creates Them
While it’s true that AI can take over redundant jobs, it still has a long way to go before it can replace all marketing tasks. In fact, the rise of marketing automation comes with new roles meant to fill the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Sean Chou, CEO of Chicago-based AI startup Catalytic, said it best: “The more technology encompasses and the more we demand of technology, the more people are involved in doing that.” As more companies adopt these advancements, the call to develop digital marketing strategies, track metrics, and create content will also increase like never before.
“When you look at AI, there’s this nonstop need for training, for data, for maintenance, for taking care of all the exceptions that are happening,” Chou further explained. With such promise, more positions are actually opening because of AI, contrary to popular belief.
What Automation Can’t Do
Having machines in the marketing industry doesn’t necessarily equate to marketers losing jobs. As Larry Kotch of Brainbroker called it, “these things don’t destroy jobs, they just change what jobs are needed.”
To date, AI is more likely to supplement how people work in the field than replace them. After all, a marketing automation software, for instance, doesn’t “automate” marketing, as marketers are still the brains behind the sequences of email messages AIs automatically send to specific audiences.
Plus, there are several distinct marketing essentials that code can’t replicate just yet. These include:
The marketing profession exercises both sides of the brain. For all the required analytical work, AI can definitely step in to help. However, when a project needs to tap into the creative side of things, such as emotions, expect that even the most advanced programs will find it hard to develop an engaging piece to impact consumers and businesses in their buying decisions.
While an AI-powered tool like PaveAI can look into 16 million possible correlations and then make a report highlighting its most valuable data, it still needs a human to interpret the results. There’s , too. Although words like bomb, mad, and sick are considered negative by definition, they can also have a positive connotation in slang. People get it; machines may not.
Sure, automation can optimize multiple marketing channels, but it can’t pitch and hone ideas for a brand. Take email campaigns as an example. While AIs personalize and deliver a message seamlessly, they’re yet to develop a well-written marketing piece on their own. The same goes for social media work, where online profiles and postings usually require a creative mind to appeal to the masses.
In marketing, no matter how data-backed a campaign is, its impact on the audiences can still vary depending on their assumptions, beliefs, and experiences. All this is the work of perspectives. Even with an AI’s clear-cut solution to your marketing needs, it’s the human thought leader that takes it up a notch with a narrative coming from a unique point of view.
Future-Proofing Your Marketing Career
Today’s digital world doesn’t wait for anyone. Now that you have a better understanding of marketing automation and the truths about AI stealing jobs in the field, it’s time to future-proof your career. Here are a few things you can work on to stay ahead of the curve:
1. Commit to lifelong learning
In the ever-changing marketing space, learning should never stop. As a marketer, you must keep up with the latest facts and trends to stay relevant in this dynamically-driven industry. Take the time to look up forward-thinking blogs, forums, and reports for any upcoming tools you need to watch out for or new skills that might be handy to acquire.
2. Become familiar with the latest technologies
Knowing the basics of tech advancements like AI, machine learning, and robotics and getting comfortable with automation tools are vital in a digital marketing job. Now, more than ever, being digitally savvy pays off, as professionals skilled in innovative applications and systems are in demand and highly valuable.
3. Nurture and connect with your network
When you have a trusted network of connections within the practice, you can be sure to get assistance when challenges arise or mentorship for any skillset gaps you want to work on. Whenever possible, foster these relationships across various verticals and seniorities, and engage with them to widen your perspective on the job.
4. Welcome change and work with it
If there’s one constant variable in the digital marketing sphere, it’s change. Besides being attentive to these shifts, an effective marketer is someone who can embrace and work with them promptly. So whether it’s from last week’s online ads that didn’t meet the conversion quota, yesterday’s social post that didn’t get enough engagements, or today’s trending topic you could talk about, a marketing pro works with these fluctuations to produce more relevant results for the future.
5. Leverage your human skillset
Since human-like emotional intelligence in marketing automation is still in the works, marketers are crucial in connecting a business with its audiences through technology. While it’s true that being tech-savvy is essential in future-proofing a marketing career, let’s not forget the natural human skills that no digital advancements can contain in a machine or program. It’s your creativity, interpretation, originality, and human perspective, among other things, that make you stand out in a competitive field like marketing.
Automation and Marketers: Onto the Future of Marketing
In his 2018 book titled AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, Lee mentioned, “There’s no doubt that the AI revolution will require readjustments and a great deal of sacrifice, but despairing rather than preparing for what’s to come is unproductive and, perhaps, even reckless.”
With all the AI fear mongering in the marketing field today, it’s important to remember that no evidence shows that automation kills more jobs than it creates. And if anything, the industry remains special, as it still requires human touch for its set of complex operations.
In case you’re on the lookout to up your marketing game, partner with a digital marketing agency like Spiralytics that can cater to both your unique marketing requests and automation service needs. Get the best people with the best tool for the job, and prepare for future-ready marketing work today!